Historically, religion has been a basic dimension of American political life, despite the American tradition of separation of church and state. Today, some fear an erosion of that separation, while others complain that we live in a "culture of disbelief" where religion is not respected. This course takes an historical approach to several controversies surrounding religious belief, religious practice and religious diversity in industrial America, placing these controversies in the context of their time and place. Students learn how the relationship between religion and politics has changed, and how it has not, through the last century of American history. Students of diverse religious backgrounds are most welcome, but a respect for the beliefs of others is a condition of participation. Overlap: HIST 331/531 Religion and Politics in America and RELS 355 Religion and Politics in America.